Andy Warhol and Pop Art

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Pop Art is one of the most influential art genres of the 20th century. In its early days, it had different names, such as neo-dadaism and neo-realism. The real Pop Art appeared in the mid and late 1950s and 1960s.

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After World War II, with the rapid development of the American economy, new consumer goods and consumption ways emerged. At the same time, the corresponding medias were born, and consumer culture began to play an important role in people’s life. The cultural transformation changed people’s lifestyle and values. With the popularization of mass consumption, the barrier between artistic creation that always emphasized aesthetics and vulgar ideas of the public has been gradually eliminated, so the Pop Art was born, and it clearly expresses the native American culture.

On the contrast, Abstract art lacks the realistic and straightforward characteristics of the American’s national spirit. It only pursues form with their obscure meaning hide inside. Andy Warhol was considered as one of the most outstanding artists of pop art. He created the art of mechanical reproduction. Warhol said his work is superficial. Such as the Mechanical Reproduction. The picture is covered with green coke bottles. They are different in shade, with some bottles having light Outlines and others very dark. But they are identical in appearance. Warhol has always emphasized the interest of ordinary things, and coke bottle is a common and ordinary object. Warhol’s idea of art was not to make ordinary things extraordinary, but to let them continue to be ordinary. Just copy them without changing any characteristics. The coke bottles were repeated in rows, but all in perfect order, giving me the feeling of watching television rather than looking it as carefully as I observe an ordinary work of art.

The Coca-Cola bottle advertisement is successful because it expresses that people all over the world drink same Coca-Cola, which is the commonality of people and the art Andy wanted to express. Coke bottles and a series of works by Andy Warhol all reflect the rise of mass culture in the western consumer society. Andy Warhol broke the traditional mode of hand-painted, combining the business, the fusion of art and the mass production. Warhol knew the power of advertising images well. The more they were repeated, the more they affected people. The themes of Andy Warhol’s works were not only commodity, he also captured another feature of American culture in the 1960s — star culture. He used the technique of commercial reproduction to deepen the public’s memory and understanding of pictures by thoroughly using images that people already familiar with.

All of his works were silkscreen printed, and the images were repeated numerous times, making them look more like replicas. In the exhibition, in addition to the Triple Elvis, I also saw the paintings of Marilyn Monroe and other stars. Their images appeared so many times. Each of them was slightly different and repeatedly arranged without any inherent meaning, just like the goods on the shelves. There is no connotation in the paintings. It’s just repeating and make the visual impression deeply engraved in the minds of the public, which is actually a kind of art of consumer civilization. Before Andy Warhol, almost all the artworks were unrepeatable.

However, Andy Warhol used printing to make works of art infinitely replicable, breaking people’s traditional views on art and making the forms and objects of art no longer simple. This was a strong impact on the traditional painting art and pushed the development of contemporary art. A section of the exhibition is dedicated to these flowers, and the background only appeared in this part of the exhibition, which is made up of repeating pink cows. In my opinion, these cows and flowers complement each other and are part of the work, which makes people deeply involved. The color of these flowers is rich, there have combination with high saturation, combination with low saturation, also the combination of high and low discretion together, bring the bouncing feeling on color perception to the person. Since the develop of art history, Art gradually become philosophy rather than remain in visual “beauty”. When we look at the painting, we always want to analyze what the painting is trying to express, but in Andy Warhol’s painting, what we see is what we see. I see flowers, then it’s flowers, nothing else. He broke the boundary between art and non-art. The act of creation itself replaced any other intention. It suited characteristics of modern aesthetics and its fast rhythm. This is exactly what our life like and art is no longer only for the few people. It belongs to the public.

Although his art may not fit everyone’s aesthetics, but he changed people’s views on the way of art production and provided a unique interpretation of works of art produced in the time of mechanical reproduction. Although he insisted that there was no meaning behind his works, people can analyze the answers they want through their own interpretation.

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Andy Warhol and Pop Art. (2020, Nov 02). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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